That Handsome Devil – The Heart Goes To Heaven, The Head Goes To Hell (2011 – Arts & Crafts)
NYC had the Beasties, Philly had G.Love & Special Sauce, SoCal has Cake and Boston brings That Handsome Devil to the party. Each one of those “Fringe Pop”, fusion-heavy bands has their hook. The B-Boys were (and continue to be) very Hip-Hop based; G.Love mixes in the Blues and Philly Soul; The almighty Cake feeds their music machine with Mexican trumpets and twangy guitar. That Handsome Devil dips its toes in all of those waters, but brings a much more keyboard-laden and vocal-focused sound, powered by that undeniably Boston ballsy party-style. Like The Dropkick Murphys and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones before them, THD is something you can’t fully comprehend until you see them in action. That being said, there is still a high degree of awesome present in their new studio album The Heart Goes To Heaven, The Head Goes To Hell, which sees Godforbid and the gang (one-man-band Jeremy Page, keyboard player Tyler Cash, bass master Jeremy Siegel, Sam Merrick on drums, and backing vocals from Naoko Takamoto and Deflon Sallahr) roar off on another go-for-broke road trip of sex, drugs, booze and rampaging humanity.
The Heart Goes To Heaven, The Head Goes To Hell fires up with the Surf-Hop cool of “Adept” and rumbles on through tunes like the new soul-style “Becky’s New Car”, the agro-stomp of “The U & I in Suicide”, the comic ballroom two-stepper “Charlie’s Inferno”, the beat-heavy dystopian anthem “Bored”, and then burns up into the smoky nightclub sleaze of the joyfully profane”Inside You”, before sending us off with the teary farewell of “Party’s Dead”. Jeremy Page’s careful musical creations flow song to song, mixing countless genres and influences, while Godforbid growls and moans like a worn-out show tiger with a bad whiskey habit – somewhere between Tom Waits and Lux Interior. The resulting sound is something that defies description, outside of endless references to other bands that share the flavor of any one song. A little Red Elvises mixes with a dash of The Cramps. A bite of Captain Beefheart leaves an aftertaste of Butthole Surfers. A waft of Raymen leads to a tinge of Nick Cave. In the end, like all of the best “Fringe-Pop”, The Heart Goes To Heaven, The Head Goes To Hell has a little something for everybody (unless you’re a Nickelback fan, in which case, get the fuck outta my That Handsome Devil review). Perpetually interesting, musically diverse, lyrically entertaining and excellent for dancing, The Heart Goes To Heaven, The Head Goes To Hell is a party record to reckon with, a jam album to groove to and a damn fine soundtrack for a life less ordinary. PICK IT UP!
And check out the exclusive new tune “How To Get More Money” which you can download FREE HERE